Politicians, rights groups and activists from around the world have criticized US president Donald Trump’s crackdown on refugee and visitors from Muslim-majority countries.
European leaders, along with the United Nations and international groups slammed Trump’s new executive orders against refugees and travellers from several countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
In America, Democrats also condemned Trump’s orders, saying it would tarnish the country’s reputation.
On Saturday passport holders were blocked from passing through customs at US airports and others were prevented from boarding planes bound for the US.
Al Jazeera reports:
Trump on Friday signed an executive order that will curb immigration and the entry of refugees from some Muslim-majority countries. He separately said he wanted the US to give priority to Syrian Christians fleeing the civil war there.
The bans, though temporary, took effect immediately, causing havoc and confusion for would-be travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The United Nations refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration called on the Trump administration to continue offering asylum to people fleeing war and persecution, saying its resettlement programme was vital.
“The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the US resettlement programme is one of the most important in the world,” the two Geneva-based agencies said in a joint statement on Saturday.
‘Part of our duties’
Germany and France also expressed discontent with Trump’s measures.
“The reception of refugees fleeing the war, fleeing oppression, is part of our duties,” Jean-Marc Ayrault , France’s foreign minister, said during a joint news conference with his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel .
Germany has taken in more than one million refugees and migrants, mainly from the Middle East, since 2015.
Although traditionally open to asylum seekers, France has taken in far fewer refugees than Germany since the migrant crisis erupted.
Some in the French government, mostly ex-premier Manuel Valls, have criticised Berlin’s open-door policy, as has Trump.
“The United States is a country where Christian traditions have an important meaning. Loving your neighbour is a major Christian value, and that includes helping people,” said Germany’s Gabriel.
“I think that is what unites us in the West, and I think that is what we want to make clear to the Americans.”
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said the Republican’s sweeping ban on people seeking refuge in the US is no solution to problems.
“Regional issues cannot be solved by closing the doors on people,” adding that Western countries should do more to help ease Turkey’s refugee burden.
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